Nectarine Couscous Salad


Now that summer is here, it’s time to celebrate stone fruit! And my favorite stone fruit is nectarines. I adapted this from a recipe I found in a magazine, decades ago, which sounded great but didn’t come together well. My version has become a family favorite and my husband recently inspired me to write it down so he could learn how to make it. Many thanks to him for testing this recipe and for making dinner!

Ingredients – Salad:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 2/3 cups couscous
  • 3 large nectarines (diced)
  • 1 cup spinach (coarsely chopped)
  • 2/3 cup chickpeas (cooked and cooled – or – canned)
  • 2 small scallions (finely chopped)

Ingredients – Dressing:

  • 4 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 4 Tbsp. honey
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander

NOTE: For best results, I recommend using organic ingredients. For this seasonal recipe, be sure to allow the nectarines to ripen fully.

Instructions for the couscous:

Bring water, olive oil and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat and stir in couscous. Cover and let rest 5 minutes. Using a fork, rake the cooked couscous out of the pan and onto a cookie sheet. Spread out and let cool. Rake the couscous out of the pan a layer at a time to avoid clumps. Let couscous cool completely before adding to salad.

Instructions for the dressing:

Add all ingredients to a medium bowl and whisk until thoroughly mixed. Whisk again before pouring. You will notice that this dressing tastes very strong but it balances out when added to the other ingredients.

Instructions for the salad:

In a large bowl, mix chickpeas, diced nectarines, and finely chopped scallions. Whisk dressing again to mix thoroughly and add half of the dressing to the ingredients in the large bowl. Mix thoroughly and let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. After letting it sit, re-mix the dressing, chickpeas, nectarines and scallions to distribute flavors. Add couscous and chopped spinach to the large bowl and stir gently to mix. Serve immediately as a side dish or as a whole meal.

For those of you who would like to print this recipe, click here for a printer friendly PDF version.

More about Wanda Shapiro • Novels by Wanda Shapiro

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